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How to Kill a Thorny Climbing Vine Weed

Lisa Wampler

Thorny vine weeds sometimes climb up the sides of homes and can easily cause damage as they dig into the mortar joints, window flashing, coping, vinyl siding and spouting. Although vines might look great when in full bloom, the damage they can cause far outweighs the beauty.

Vines can cause a lot of damage.

If you have these types of vines growing on your home, take steps to remove them.

  1. Cut the thorny vine off at the ground with a pair of pruning scissors. It is common for the vine to grow very thick near the ground and thin out as it extends up the wall. If you cannot cut through the vine with pruning scissors, use a tree limb saw.

  2. Pull the vine away from the wall slowly. Take caution when removing the vine from objects. Grip the vine as close to the wall as you can. Pull off 10 to 12 inches at a time and then re-grip the vine where it remains attached to the wall. Pull slowly so you do not damage the wall or anything attached to it. If necessary, use a ladder so you can reach the full height of the vine.

  3. Place the vine into a trash bag. Do not place the vine in a compost pile, as it can attempt to root itself in the relocated area.

  4. Spray the remaining portion of the vine sticking out of the ground with a chemical herbicide. Follow the dosing directions on the herbicide packaging, as the directions will vary per brand. It may take several dosages to kill the vine. When you see the portion of the vine sticking out of the ground wilt and start to rot, you know the vine is dead.

  5. Dig into the ground around the vine with a shovel until you reach the root ball for the vine, if you opt not to use a pesticide. Dig up as much of the vine's root system as possible. The vine can propagate off any roots left in the ground. Place the root ball into the trash bag with the vine and dispose of the trash bag in accordance with your local trash-collecting regulations.

  6. Tip

    Make sure you wear gloves. Many vines can give you a rash, and the thorns can cause deep cuts.


    Often, vine growth is a recurring situation that you must deal with every year. The best time to remove the vine is as soon as you see it. You do not have to wait until a specific time of year to remove it.

    Some areas do not allow you to place lawn items in the trash. If this is the case, place the vines in an area where you can spray them with herbicide without damaging surrounding plants. Spray the vines until they wilt and die. This will keep the vines from attempting to root.